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tv   Countdown With Keith Olbermann  MSNBC  December 1, 2010 11:00pm-12:00am EST

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okay. >> well, half of them got it wrong. >> okay. >> which doesn't speak well for them. >> max, we've got to leave which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow? the republicans and mitch mcconnell put it in writing. no debate, no governing, now dadt vote. we're taking our ball and going home unless we get tax cuts for the wealthiest americans. >> we need to show the american people that we care more about them and their ability to pay their bills than we do about the special interest groups legislative christmas lists. >> no unemployment extension either. the democrats state the obvious.
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>> delay on political matters and then blame democrats for not addressing the needs of the american people. it's very cynical, but very obvious, very transparent. >> and apparently very effective as the clock winds down. mr. mcconnell, you were saying? >> we'll see how much time is left before the expiration of the 111th congress. >> reporter: the presidential debt commission issues its report. the title "moment of truth," let us know when you find one. social security benefits to be slashed. social security wasn't part of the assignment. calls to prosecute julian assange, does this mean the "new york times" should have been prosecuted for the pentagon papers? bob woodward and carl bernstein for watergate? and noah's ark turns up in kentucky. complete with an ark, live animals, and tax breaks. here come the lawyers two by two. all the news and commentary now on "countdown."
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good evening from new york. this is wednesday, december 1st, 706 days until the 2012 presidential election. i'm chris hayes, keith olbermann has the night off. less than one day after meeting with the president with unemployment benefits for 2 million americans already beginning to expie, senate republicans have delivered a brand new filibuster ultimatum to democrats in our fifth story. forget the unemployed because nothing will get done until the senate votes on tax cuts for the rich. in a letter delivered to senate majority leader harry reid this morning, by senate minority leader mitch mcconnell, the message was clear. gop obstructionism is alive and well. >> the election was a month ago. it's time to get serious. it's time to focus on priorities. now, a while ago, i delivered a letter to senator reid signed by
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all 42 senate republicans. it says that every republican will vote against proceeding to any legislative matter until we've funded the government and protected every taxpayer from a tax hike. >> practical implications of the strategy is that republicans will run out the clock on other legislation, like the now lapsed unemployment benefits and don't ask, don't tell, which military leaders have said must happen. and the dream act, which will provide a path to citizenship for the children of immigrants. the senate majority leader responded. >> -- to prevent the senate from acting on many important issues that have bipartisan support. with this letter, they have simply put in writing the political strategy that the republicans have pursued this entire congress. namely obstruct, delay, obstruct, delay action on critical matters. >> president obama's working group on the tax extension issue
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has met for the first time today and made little progress according to roll call. and president obama who full disclosure is my wife's boss, shrugged off the strategy. >> there's going to be some lingering politics that have to work themselves out in all the caucuses, democrat and republican. i think we got off to a good start yesterday. there are going to be ups and downs to this process, but i'm confident we're going to be able to get that done. >> the rally with labor leaders, nancy pelosi did what other democratic leader haves failed to do lately. speaker pelosi pointed out the heartlessness and absurdity of denying unemployment to out of work americans when the bush tax cuts for the rich would cost $700 billion. >> $700 billion in tax cuts to the top 2% in our country. and our republican colleagues say we should do that and not pay for it, we should add that
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$700 billion to the deficit. but when it comes to unemployment insurance and just the renewal we want to have costs $18 billion, $700 billion, $18 billion. they're saying that has to be paid for. >> have to pay for unemployment insurance, we don't have to pay for tax cuts for the rich. tax cuts for the rich do not create jobs. >> house majority leader steny hoyer has reiterated the intention of house democrats to vote on an extension of tax cuts for the middle class alone. that vote is expected tomorrow. and that has prompted house speaker-elect john boehner to accuse democrats, democrats of stalling. "this vote is a washington stalling tactic with job-killing implications for employers and entrepreneurs gripped by uncertainty over the looming tax hikes." right. because the uncertainty about rich people's tax cuts is paramount compared to the uncertainty of jobless americans who are losing unemployment
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benefits. let's bring in congresswoman donna edwards in maryland's fourth district. congresswoman, thanks so much for your time tonight. >> thank you, chris, it's good to be with you. >> so there's a lot happening in the other chamber, but let's begin with the house. is your caucus prepared to vote for the middle class tax cut alone? and will passing that be a problem if it's done under suspension rules which would require 2/3 vote? >> well, i think that's a good question. i think that we are committed as democrats -- we've stated this all along along with the president to provide tax cuts for incomes up to $250,000. that means even the millionaires get up to their $250,000 with a tax cut. and so i'm really, you know, i'm very clear that this is where we need to be as a democratic caucus, it's where we need to be for the american people, and we don't need to have that linked to unemployment benefits. those need to be extended, as well, for the people whose unemployment begins expiring today.
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>> there's been some talk about coming up with another linkage. house majority leader steny hoyer said today that the democrats may tie tax cuts for those who make more than $250,000 to the unemployment extension benefits. that sounds like that's not something you're interested in. do you already see the house leadership starting to look for compromises? or can they bring this vote without throwing something else in there? >> i don't think these things are actually related. i mean, even if you look at the congressional district that's right over in virginia that has the highest median incomes in the country, they're at $100,000 median income. that's nowhere near $250,000. we've always extended unemployment benefits at a time when we have this kind of record unemployment. this should be no different. it's never been about politics. families who need unemployment benefits are republicans and democrats and independents. and we're going into a holiday season where we face the risk that 2 million people in this country are going to lose their
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unemployment benefits because the republicans have turned this into politics. >> can i ask you one question? when you look at -- when you look at the fact that what was previously routine, which is essentially just reupping these unemployment benefit extensions. we have 9.4% unemployment. when you look at something like that has now become this massive fight, it's already expired for a lot of people. does it feel to you like congress is deeply broken? because watching it, that's what it starts to feel like. >> well, i think for the millions of people who are unemployed and who have been unemployed for a long time, it feels awfully broken. but i want to get, you know, to the brass tax here. there are people who will not be able to put food on the table, pay their mortgages and utilities because of the nickelling and diming that's going on to extend unemployment benefits when the other side is perfectly willing to provide tax cuts for people who are -- have incomes over $250,000 to the tune of $700 billion a year without asking to pay for a dime of that, putting it on the backs
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of our children and grandchildren. we have to actually expose the hypocrisy and that's why i want a clean vote on the tax cuts for those -- for the income up to $250,000 and a clean vote on extending unemployment benefits. it's actually the right thing to do. >> finally, i want to get your quick thoughts on two other pieces of legislation. both of which, if i'm not mistaken, have passed the house and are in the proverbial senate limbo. don't ask, don't tell, and the dream act, which would allow children of immigrants to apply for citizenship. what are the prospects for those? and how important do you think those bills are? >> as you mentioned, this is really up to the united states senate. and to the leadership in the senate to say, you know, forget all of the, you know, the monkey business with the rules. the military's already come out and said don't ask, don't tell is a no-brainer for 70% of our servicemen and women who know that they will continue to do
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their jobs in the way that they do in the best way that they do by repealing don't ask, don't tell. it's time to do that, we've done it in the house, the senate has to act. and as for the dream act, this is really a very simple question for a lot of young people who lived in this country and have been educated in this country all their lives to be able to continue their education to contribute to -- to our society and our communities. it's the right thing to do, it's the right time to do it. and congress doesn't just get to take a break like republicans want just because we had a midterm election. we have all of us in the 111th congress have a job up until the end of the year. we have to continue to do our job. >> yeah, you don't get to leave work at 4:00. donna edwards, thanks for taking the time to talk with us tonight. really appreciate it. >> thank you, chris. let's call on richard wolf, also author of "revival" the struggle for survival inside the obama white house. good evening, richard. >> good evening, chris. >> okay, so -- i was -- i guess i would say i was not surprised
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that mitch mcconnell was able to ally his caucus together and throw down this ultimatum. what do you think the democrats' next move is? >> well, the problem here is that running out the clock actually works for republicans. you know, the next game when it starts, they'll have more players on the field. just letting him get away with this isn't working. also, accusing the other side of being obstructionists is very satisfying. everyone feels morally self-righteous, but actually that isn't a winning strategy. it's a tactic, not a strategy for democrats. it happened last time around. and all you're going to get is two years of everyone saying the party of no. what they have to do is call their bluff. they have to say, let's get taxes off the table, do the deal however you structure it, maybe take your votes, which aren't going to get through, take your votes, put it out there, and move on as quickly as possible because time is as much of the enemy as the republicans. >> let's game this out. i want to make sure i understand this. let's say they follow that advice and say, hey, let's do the vote, take the vote, could
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reid essentially just bring a just middle class tax cut bill to the floor tomorrow, this week? is that in the realm of possibility? >> sure, he could. of course, he could. but the question is sequencing here. and let's face it, getting that on the record is not nearly as important as moving to unemployment benefits. because here's the calling the bluff. it's not just about the time issue, it's saying to the other side and to the general public, to the general public to independent voters, they say they care about jobs, they say they care about people without jobs, but they're not willing to take the step on unemployment benefits for people without jobs. you know, democrats have to say at this point when people are paying attention, not only are we reasonable, but we have our priorities straight. it's the unemployed, the people without jobs. and you know, do they get stuck right there? and the clock goes out at that moment, at least democrats stand for something. as important as all of those
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issues are, are frankly not as important as the unemployment situation right now. >> what we saw -- i think you're exactly right. you have to draw a line in the sand and provoke a confrontation over this even if the vote has failed. what we saw from the white house today in response to this ultimatum is what we always see from the white house is keeping the cards closer chest, saying maybe it'll work out. you have sources at the white house, can you shed some light on what this pattern of behavior from them strategically is intended to accomplish? >> two words, independent voters. that is the big switch that we saw in the last election. republicans may think this is all about the momentum on the right, tea party folks, democrats obviously want to say, look, we've got to hold true to our principles, but if you're sitting in the white house in 2012, they want to see the party working together. they want to see a reasonable tone. and for the president to go out and do his signature move yesterday saying these problems are bigger than politics. there are some things that are even more important than campaigning. that's what he does.
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that's who he is. that's what independent voters want to hear. and so, yeah, he can afford to be reasonable. it is actually his only path to reelection. if you look at the numbers, there aren't enough democrats or republicans. you need those folks who are the so-called independents. >> sort of low information, the question is whether all of this filters out to them. that's another story. msnbc political analyst richard wolffe, thanks for your time, really appreciate it. >> thank you, chris. he was tasked with finding solutions, so what did the presidential debt commission recommend? wait for it, tax cuts next.
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i'm looking to save in insurance.
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he calls anyone upset about proposed cuts in social security the greediest generation the problems with putbacks, but from investors who may be looking at mortgage-backed securities and saying refund, please. why it could be the second tsunami in the mortgage crisis. and noah's ark comes to kentucky thanks to the people
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behind the creation museum and $37 million of taxpayer money.
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just days before today's release on the report on reducing the national debt, co-chairman alan simpson complained about his critics, referring to the "greediest generation" despite simpson himself was a senator himself through the '70s and '80s, cut taxes for the richest people in this country and carving out loopholes for them to make and keep even more money. in our fourth story tonight, it turns out simpson's solution to this problem is to cut taxes for the rich yet again. and to tell the children of this
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greediest generation they will have to work longer and harder than their parents did to pay for the unprecedented transfer of wealth, mr. simpson helped to facilitate over the last generation. our guest tonight will be a member of the commission, a member who will go against simpson and vote no on sending this to congress. the report does do a number of things the wealthy might not like such as eliminating the tax deduction for the interest on mortgages above $500,000 and on second homes, such as taxing dividends and capital gains at the same rate of income. while they don't pay social security tax, under simpson's plan by the year 2020, they would pay social security tax on income up to $190,000. that's right, under this brutal austerity plan, a working stiff making $60,000 a year, he would pay social security tax on all of his income, but someone pulling in $2 million a year would pay social security tax on
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almost 10% of the income. though they were mostly polite enough not to mention the republican president and republican congress responsible. >> the escalation was driven in large part by two wars, which by the way i always emphasize were never paid for. and so we borrowed money to pay for those two wars and continue to borrow to pay for those two wars. the escalation was driven in large part by two wars and a slew of fiscally irresponsible policies along with a deep economic downturn. >> most notable among those fiscally irresponsible policies were, of course, the bush tax cuts. so what is the commission's serious grown-up remedies? more tax cuts. you know something's gone wrong when it declares on page 10, "we need to lower tax rates." the richest people in the country pay a top rate of 35%, that's when they pay it. if the bush tax cuts go away,
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that rate will rise to 39.6% next year, far below its historic peak. the commission wants to cut it even further to 28%, the corporate rate too. without reform, the report informs us it is likely that u.s. competitiveness will continue to suffer. as if u.s. corporations did not just report third quarter profits this year that were some of the highest in history. the way the report saves money is primarily by cutting government services, including eliminating 200,000 government jobs over the next two years, right when the economy needs more jobs to grow, which of course would produce more revenue and reduce the debt. as promised, we're joined tonight by jan schakowsky, democrat of illinois, and a member of the debt panel. thanks for your time tonight. >> thank you, chris. >> well, first of all, i want to wonder why is the chairman of the panel devoting so much energy to slashing social security increasing the retirement age, which is a really regressive way going
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about making fixes when that actually wasn't on the plate and that's not the problem with the long-term debt that we're facing? >> no, the commission is doing the favor of figuring out the 75-year solvency of social security after admitting it has nothing to do with the deficit and it's not going to be used for debt reduction either. but we might as well do that, as well. of course, this is not something that we need to do right now. and we certainly don't need to save social security by cutting social security. and not just for future beneficiaries, but actually we're going to begin right now by changing the way we calculate the cost of living adjustment, meaning we're going to give current beneficiaries less money. >> you know, one of the things i think that gets really confused in this discussion. i'm wondering if you can sort of walk us through it, is the difference between the deficit we face right now in the short and medium term and what the problems are for the whole u.s.
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budget in the long-term, say 20 years out. those two things it seems to me are getting confused in this conversation. how do you sort of see dividing these up? >> well, even if we just first talk about achieving primary budget balance by 2015, which is the first mandate of this commission, what the simpson/bowles proposal does not do is how are we going to get the economy going, create jobs, not interrupt any kind of fragile recovery by starting to cut the budget too soon. and so, what one of the lacking things is that we don't stimulate the economy. there's very little talk even about the need to do the unemployment insurance benefits. which is not only good for the 2 million people losing their benefits right now is really good for the economy because those people will go out and spend money. but -- but long-term, they're talking about a major overhaul
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of the tax system and claim that by getting rid of all these tax expenditures, that is those deductions in credits, most of which go to wealthier americans, that are -- were going to be able to cut about $4 trillion from the budget over the next few decades. so it's both a long-term and a short-term plan. but their plan for health care is to make seniors pay more out of pocket for their medicare. i mean, you know, there's a lot of talk in the commission about shared sacrifice. but there has not been shared sacrifice for the last two decades. they're acting as if we're starting even. but, of course, all the wealth has gone to the top earners in the country, the wealthiest have gotten richer, and the poor and middle class have gotten poorer. and now they want to solve these problems on the back of middle-class americans. and it's just the wrong way to
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go. >> i think it's a great way of putting it. that we're not starting all sort of the same place. after these 20 years. finally here, i want to ask you, you have come out with some of your own recommendations. what are the big things they didn't -- they missed that you would propose as a path to getting on a better sort of fiscal trajectory? >> well, i of course looked at the same things, the tax expenditures, the defense budget, they did too. but i don't cut military pay, they do. i don't cut military health care, they do. and i certainly don't cut medicare. i say that the medicare ought to be able to negotiate with the pharmaceutical companies to get lower prices. instead of, you know, digging further into the pockets of seniors who are making the grand average of $18,000 a year, that's what our elderly make, i say let's get it out of the pharmaceutical companies and let's put a public option back on the table.
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let's make sure that the insurance industry actually has some competition from a plan that will hold down the cost. so my -- what i wanted to prove was -- i wanted to prove that we could do this without hurting the middle class. >> congresswoman jan schakowsky. i really appreciate you coming on, i'll throw a financial transactions tax into the mix. >> well, i didn't put a financial transaction tax into the mix, but there -- there are a number of other ideas beyond getting it from, you know, the people who have been paying the price while the rest of the people have been partying. and, you know, saying that wall street needs to pay its fair share, as well. and all of these hedge fund managers who, by the way, live longer, chris. when you talk about cutting the age of social security, poor people actually aren't living longer until you've got a janitor who is going to have to work longer because the hedge fund manager is going to live
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longer. so i think there's a lot of inequities in there, and there are places that the money really is that we can fairly ask for in order to reduce the deficit and the debt. >> congresswoman jan schakowsky, congresswoman of illinois and also a member of the debt commission. thank you so much for joining me tonight. >> thank you, chris. the wailing from the right over wikileaks after the silence on the outing of valerie plame next.
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the irony of one media outlet calling for another media outlet to be censored, next. time to celebrate hanukkah. the official start of the jewish holiday which celebrates the rededication of the holy temple after defeating the greek empire. i believe it is celebrated by singing a different version of adam sandler's "the hanukkah song" followed by "eight crazy nights." let's play "oddball." we begin in taiwan, china. they never told you your toddler shouldn't hide in there. a 3-year-old boy became stuck in a washing machine drum while playing hide and seek with his mother. the boy was trapped in the drum for over an hour until firefighters were able to cut him free. fortunately, now the toddler will need to find a new hiding spot. coming up, the right's hysterics over wikileaks, julian assange, and calls for prosecution.arned
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the content of 250,000 leaked state department documents is still being analyzed. the impact to be determined. yet in our third story, the predictable hyperventilation all
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while questioning president obama's leadership. the man behind wikileaks, julian assange is currently wanted by interpol, but for allegations that have nothing to do with wikileaks. that hasn't stopped newt gingrich from advocating for mr. assange's imprisonment. >> he's an enemy of the united states, actively endangering people and he's going to get a lot of folks killed. and i think that's a despicable event. >> sarah palin echoing that sentiment on her facebook page. he's an anti-american operative with blood on his hands. his past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of afghan sources to the taliban. why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al qaeda and taliban leaders. calling him a "clear and present danger to america."
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>> violating the espionage act and the reason i say foreign terrorist organization because they engage in terrorist activity. >> mr. king is asserting the leaks don't bother president obama because "his entire political upbringing has been on the left." when he was in school, when they spoke about great american here ros, no one was greater than daniel elsberg. meanwhile, natural review columnist wondered back in october, "why hasn't assange being garroted in his hotel room years ago?" is there any prominent person or editorial board outside the administration on the left who made a huge stink about valerie plame's outing who is remotely horrified by the wikileaks travesty? how about those on the right. first here's former governor mike huckabee, not speaking about assange, but the person who provided wikileaks with the
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document. >> whoever in our government leaked that information is guilty of treason. and i think anything less than execution is too kind a penalty. >> mr. huckabee had a slightly different reaction after president bush commuted the prison sentence of the only man convicted in connection with to leaking of cia agent valerie plame's identity scooter libby. mr. huckabee praised president bush for his compassion. thankfully robert gates has called out the hysterics while putting the leaks into perspective. >> i've heard the impact of these releases on our foreign policy described as a meltdown, as a game-changer, and so on. i think -- i think those descriptions are fairly significantly overwrought. is this embarrassing? yes. is it awkward? yes. consequences for u.s. foreign policy, i think fairly modest. >> here with me now is greg
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mitchell. he's my colleague of the nation where he writes a daily blog. greg, thanks for coming in. >> happy to be here. >> first, i guess, we're not surprised but the right's reaction, but have you been surprised but the bloodthirstiness of it? >> yeah, you didn't mention bill crystal using language like neutralize assange. i think it's really code language for what people would really like one of the prominent bloggers at red state talked about his wish was to see him get a bullet in the back of the head. whatever you think about the leaks, whatever you think about what has come out and assange himself, it should be repugnant to americans. >> yeah, and i want to -- i want to bear down on this one point. i mean, the accusation against assange is that he endangered people's lives. am i wrong that there has not been any evidence that that is the case? >> that's absolutely true. and of course the point is, even if that is true, how many lives could be saved by many of these revelations? so many of the important
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revelations and ones yet to come. people forget this is going to be going on for days, weeks, and possibly months. related to wars the u.s. is involved in iraq and afghanistan, not to mention pakistan and other areas. we don't know what lives may be saved by these revelations and any openness that may come out of it. >> finally, i want to ask you this question because you ran under a publisher for years and you're a media critic. it's one thing for the right to sort of go after assange, it's another when media outlets you would expect to express solidarity also seem to be condemning him. has the press' reaction to assange surprised you? >> it hasn't really. what's interesting, what has been the conduit for these leaks? it's been the press. if the media was going to be fair, they would be attacking the "new york times" or "the guardian," "the guardian" leaked the document to the "new york times." why aren't media people mad at "the guardian?" i think that's good, i don't think the press should be
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attacked for this. >> you're not going to expand the circle of condemnation. >> no, but the media doesn't want to attack themselves, they want to focus on assange. >> what do you think it's revealing of? my understanding -- the history of the pentagon papers is that other media outlets stood with "new york times" and they found the briefs, why don't we see that here? >> well, i think the press -- we have seen it with the press. you've had this really unprecedented collaboration around the world with these news outlets. and i think what people don't understand, biggest thing they don't understand, there's only been 500 documents already released. and unlike previous leaks, they've worked with news outlets in advance to have the documen redacted. so there's this incredible collaboration that the media's in the middle of and yet everything seems to be aimed at assange.
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and so i -- i think that's why we've seen such a violent rhetoric. you're not going to have that. so, you know, the media is hanging in there on this so far. >> greg mitchell, he writes a great blog and he's been covering the wikileaks scandal minute-by-minute, thank you. >> thank you. coming up -- why investors may turn any rumbles of the housing market into sub-prime two. it's called the putback, as in back where it came from. noah's ark found a home in kentucky and the flood of tax breaks. the senator who is actually ready to ask republicans to go ahead, make his day. filibuster.my profe or at berkely asked me if i wanted to change the world. i said "sure." "well, let's grow some algae." and that's what started it. exxonmobil and synthetic genomics have built a new facility to identify the most productive strains of algae. algae are amazing little critters. they secrete oil, which we could turn into biofuels. they also absorb co2.
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the very real danger of sub-prime two, not because of the people getting handed foreclosures, but because of the people who invest in them next.
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i don't know how many times i heard bob say -- >> that was christopher dodd opening up a hearing before the bank committee about the foreclosure crisis. as dodd noted, it is not a new issue. in fact, solutions to the ongoing disaster seem elusive. every few months in 2007 when i first moved to washington, a bunch of officials and bankers call a meeting and get together to say we should really do something about the foreclosure crisis. they do not move. and yet the problem grows harder
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and harder to ignore, not just because 2.2 million estimated foreclosures this year, 14% delinquent on their mortgages, and 15 million more who owe more on their homes than they're worth. but because a series of recent revelations that demonstrate that the entire system overseeing and processing the servicing of mortgages is badly broken. today some high-ranking regulators like head of the fdic sheila bair openly acknowledged as much. >> there are also a lot of potential litigation exposures here. and law enforcement official potential for law enforcement actions. >> there are two big problems. the first has to do with how the mortgage services -- servicers do their duty. the mortgage servicers are kind of like property managers of an apartment building, the super if you will. they're the ones that collect the checks, process the payments, assess the late fees. do the maintenance and upkeep for the owners of the loans. in most cases the owners of the
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big banks. for a very long time, a lot of these servicers have been behaving very, very badly. they've been denying people chances to modify their loans, even when they qualify. they've added in all kinds of junk fees and have even in some cases instructed people not to pay their mortgages for six months so they can qualify for the government program designed to aid struggling homeowners only to then turn around and try to foreclose on them. the reason the servicers behave badly is because they make a lot more money from delinquency and foreclosure than they do from those who just paid their mortgage every month. in other words, they've got an incentive to be jerks. that's problem number one. and it's actually from the standpoint of of the entire financial system, the smaller problem. problem number two is the scary one. >> since our last hearing, news reports have suggested that the problem may be actually a lot larger than we previously thought. i don't wish that to be the case, but the evidence seems to be mounting that it may, in fact, be the case. an employee of the bank of
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america testified in court that the bank's standard mortgage servicing practices failed to meet basic loan documentation requirements. a failure that could call a huge number of loans into question. if there are more revelations of that nature, this situation could ultimately have ramifications for the safety and soundness of the financial system. >> the problem goes by the deceptively harmless sounding term put-back. we're not talking about a 6'10" power forward putting back an offensive rebound, we're talking about this kind of put-back. >> with respect to put-back liability, right now we had -- well, we had already started a process of requiring each of the major holding companies to produce to us their comprehensive capital plan. >> okay. let me try to translate this. a put-back in this context is something that should be familiar to all of us. it's the same as returning a defective product to a retailer
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for your money back. in this case, the item that is being returned are mortgage-backed securities. those same toxic assets at the center of the financial crisis, those pools of mortgages packaged and sold to investors as a path to eternal riches and worth cents on the dollar. they've revealed that in many, many cases, the banks that were pooling all those mortgages and turning them into securities didn't follow the necessary procedures to make them legitimate in the eyes of the law. they were too busy pumping out the next batch to make sure the paperwork was actually right. and since those securities are now worthless, investors are only too happy to go knocking on the door of the banks and say, hey, this is defective, take it back. if the banks have to take back these securities, they have to take the full loss on to their own books. now, how much in the defectively constructive securities are floating around out there? no one knows for sure. estimates have been steadily
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rising. and today federal governor turolla has put it into figures. there's no way the banks can buy back the securities and stay solvent. it would blow up their balance sheets all over again. in other words, the crash part deux. for four years, it's wreaked havoc on families across the country, and now it's about to wreak havoc on the financial industry again. coming up, kentucky opens its arms and its tax breaks to a noah's ark theme park. camels, giraffes, and possibly lawsuits march in two by two. [ heather ] businesses need a reliable financial partner. one who can stay in sync with their moves. my job at ge capital is to get bobcat all the financial and business support they need. we provide financing for every bobcat dealer in north america. together, we've rolled out over 100,000 machines
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if orlando and anaheim can have theme parks dedicated to a mouse with a human brain, then surely grant county, kentucky should be able to have their own centered around a big 500-foot boat. the catch in our number one
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story comes when you find out that boat is noah's ark. it's based on the literal translation of genesis and the taxpayers are expected to foot up to 1/4 of the $150 million price tag. the governor of kentucky announced the plans for the ark encounter. according to the louisville courier journal, it'll be a 500-foot replica of noah's ark, also including a walled city, a replica of the tower of babel, an aviary and first century middle eastern village. not an actual one, i imagine. no roller coasters, no farris wheels, just bible stuff. according to the website, the park will be a "fun, educational, and wholesome attraction" and will be an asset to the region. the project is a joint venture
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between the for profits llc and the non-profit group answers in genesis. a group that in 2007 opened kentucky's creation museum, which is dedicated to portraying the bible's view of history. among their claims, the earth was created in six days, just 6,000 years ago. and that at one time, man and velociraptor co-existed peacefully. we take the absolute truth and authority of the bible to the world, we teach the relevance of a literal genesis to the mission fields of the world. we obey god's call for global evangelism for all ethnic groups in the world. and now they have asked taxpayers to subsidize their bible-based theme park. the state of kentucky is complying. again, according to the courier journal, developers are seeking state tax incentives under the kentucky tourism development act. they qualify in kentucky governor indicated they would. they could receive as much as $37.5 million in incentives. he joined the park's owners for
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the big announcement. claiming ark encounter would create hundreds of jobs for the state and defended the use of taxpayer money to subsidize the project. >> this is an application for a theme park. the law doesn't allow us to discriminate about the entertainment subject matter of theme parks as long as it's legal and in good taste. >> joining me now is sam cedar, the host of "the majority report," which is back streaming on fm. so we have a defense from the governor on this. what do you think about using state dollars for this sort of thing? >> well, it's state dollars that come from the sales tax that they place there. so it's more of a rebate. i mean, i think -- i think it's -- it's probably would stand the test in terms of constitutionality. but the real question is, could another religion actually build their own theme park?
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would they qualify for this type of subsidy? because i don't know, frankly, if a jewish or muslim theme park would do that well in that neighborhood. >> i would love to see the theme park in the middle of paducah. >> a big furry hat and people ride around on it. that's the only question, is it actually discriminatory? because only a christian theme park could actually qualify for these subsidies in practice. but i think it's a bit of a stretch, they probably can do it. >> right, and that's so pernicious, they know full well that no one's going to come in i want a muslim community theme park to get this tax break? >> i suppose, but there is a little bit of history to this. the founders, ken hamm, he was on the report back in the day and said this was expressly to arm christians in a debate
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against evolution. and so this isn't, you know, this is a pretty specific agenda that these people are holding. but frankly, i'd prefer a theme park than the museum. because the museum implies this is actually real as opposed this is more like disney. and you have this notion of the world that is more fantastic. >> i was a little surprised it was a democratic governor doing this. but i guess the politics -- >> it's kentucky. it's kentucky. i think that's the bottom line. it's kentucky and, you know, i think it probably will bring a bunch of jobs. this thing has been enormously successful, they pick that area specifically because it was in -- within a radius of one of the largest concentrations of americans within 500 miles that would attend. and so -- >> now you're talking about the original creation museum? >> yes, and i think that's going to be -- >> i've never been. i heard michelle goldberg who has written a book called "kingdom coming" has told me about it. there's the dinosaur -- the guy riding the dinosaur.
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>> and i spoke to someone back on the old "majority report" as they were in the planning stages and they said, you know, it's going to specifically try and poke holes in evolution. it's going to contend that man walked contemporaneously with dinosaurs. it's going to suggest that evolutionary theory is what they call historical science as opposed to observational science. which then brings up the question that how do you know that dinosaurs existed at that point? but be that as it may -- >> can god make a suitcase that's too heavy for him to lift? >> that's right. why would you make a banana? but the bottom line is it's been wildly successful. i mean the real question is is, are they going to be able to discriminate against who they hire at this theme park as opposed to their museum? because if they're getting state subsidies, that opens the door to a real question. are they the not-profit side or the profit side and i mean that in terms of making money a opposed to being prophetic.

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